[Thomas Kelly, 'Ireland's most prolific hymn writer'.] Autograph Letter, [signature cut off and lost] discussing the popularity of his hymns, and describing how he feels 'very helpless' at the thought of trying to write 'the Hymns you wish for'.

Author: 
Thomas Kelly (1769-1855), Church of Ireland cleric and preacher, 'Ireland's most prolific hymn writer'
Publication details: 
1 January 1821. No place.
£80.00
SKU: 22258

The letter was originally a 4to bifolium. The text is complete, covering the whole of both sides of the first leaf, and with the last two words of the letter written on a small square of paper which is all that remains of the second leaf (the rest – including the valediction – having been cut away). In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with repairs in archival tape. The letter is endorsed with biographical information in pencil. The recipient, saluted as 'My dear friend', is not identified. Kelly begins by explaining that he only received the recipient's letter on the evening of the previous Saturday, as it was 'directed to Wicklow, and not Ashford, our present Post town'. He had 'fully purposed to breakfast' with him on the last Sunday he was 'in town' (i.e. Dublin), 'but a matter of discipline, which I thought important, called me in another direction, contrary to my wishes'. He points out that he always goes to the recipient's house 'with pleasure; and, I hope, not without some profit'. The letter continues: 'Should I find myself able to produce the Hymns you wish for, I will, but, I really do not think myself justified to answer anyone's expectation on that Subject; any one, I mean uniting taste with spiritual discernment'. He knows that 'some of the Hymns' he has published have been 'well thought of: and I trust, they are not, altogether destitute of something that may be profitable to the Church of Christ: but, when called upon, to produced anything on a given subject: I feel myself very helpless: I shall not however lose sight of your wishes'. He turns to his health, declaring that he is 'not well', with 'a head ache, and cold'. This must be his 'excuse for not saying more'. He asks to be remembered 'before “a throne of grace”'. He ends with regards to the recipient's mother and sister, 'and G. Hamilton, if he is with you'. He hopes that Hamilton 'got his manuscript', which Kelly 'left with G Carr for him'.